If you’re into gardening, then growing radish microgreens in your garden is a must. Radishes are super easy and quick to grow that they make a great addition to your garden. These root vegetables are nutritious and have a lot of health benefits. It contains a crunchy peppery flavor that can either be taken in or added to spice salads and sandwiches.
If you’re looking to grow radish microgreens, then you have to find the right place. This article will let you in on all you need to know about these microgreens. Let’s dive deep into how to grow this radish variety.
What Are Daikon Radish Microgreens?
This variety of the radish family is primarily grown in winter. These are also known by many different names, like winter radish or white radishes commonly. They originated from china and japan and were widely cultivated throughout other regions of the world today.
The word Daikon is a Japanese word that means ‘big root.’ The daikon radish is also known as Raphanus sativus with a subspecies varietyof longipinnatus, called oilseed radish or fodder radish in the United States. These microgreens are also cultivated to provide soil surface and maintain them.
The American daikon radishes are not usually for culinary purposes and are primarily used as fallow crops. The radishes are exported from east and south Asia, where they are famously grown. Its historical origins go long before pyramids were built in Egypt. It is normally famous for being used in Japanese cuisine.
2. Appearance- Size And Color
The daikon radish has a long, white root with thin green leafy shoots. The daikon radish bulb is white in color with a white stem. They have a similar appearance to like carrots. The daikon microgreens are also present in other varieties of colors.
These microgreens are easily distinguishable as they have long, elongated roots from other radish varieties that are often round and oval in the structure. For example, china rose radish or pink beauty variety.
The radish flavor type is usually very crunchy with a mild spicy touch. The radish microgreen flavor is similar to that of the radish bulb’s green leaves, but the taste and texture are more like the bulb than its stems or hairy roots.
The taste is close to that of pepper; you can detect a mild spice sense, giving it a strong flavor. These can be used in both sweet and spicy foods. Due to the rich flavor of microgreens, it is often used for garnishing food. It is also included in foods like sandwiches as seasonings or increasing the flavor, texture, and color.
The Daikon Radish Greens -Nutritional Contents
The daikon radish microgreens are low in calories and carbohydrates while containing many nutritional health benefits. The microgreens are high in vitamin C, fiber, carbohydrates, proteins. The Daikon microgreens are very low in energy but are rich in other nutrients. They contain many essential nutrients needed for growth and hence are essential for maintaining our health.
The daikon radish microgreens have many nutritional properties such as:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6
- Folate (B9)
- Pantothenic acid
The Radish Microgeens Benefits
The daikon radish sprouts have numerous health benefits. The microgreens contain antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancerous, antidiabetic, and many other properties. Even the daikon radish seeds are, in fact, edible and can be used for medicinal purposes. These rich health benefits make the daikon radish one of the preferred microgreens for maintaining a healthy diet. These contain many plant compounds like quercetin and ferulic acid, which may help cure innumerable health diseases.
1. Anti-Cancer Property
Studies show that the microgreens contain anticancerous properties and help fight against colon, liver, and lung cancer. These contain lots of chlorophyll and amino acids which help the radish greens to fight against cancer. These radish microgreens are the most preferred plants for prevention and treatment against cancer compared to any other microgreens.
2. Improves Cardiovascular System
Microgreens are known to improve the cardiovascular system. They contain folate and Pyridoxine, which break down the fat deposition in the blood vessels and stops causing a heart attack or haemorrhages.
3. Promote Weight Loss
Eating the daikon radish microgreens would make you lose weight. If you are looking for a way to lose weight, adding radish microgreens into your diet is the best way. These greens contain low calories with high rich fiber, which would help you maintain a healthy body. Those plants contain less amount of starch content and more fiber in them.
4. Protects Against Chronic Diseases
The daikon radish microgreens can protect against many chronic diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, cardiovascular, and respiratory diseases. They contain bioactive Peptides, plant compounds, minerals, and compounds. All of this adds more nourishing value to daikon radish microgreens.
5. Contains Antioxidant Properties
The more amount of Vitamin C present in the radish microgreens makes it a strong antioxidant agent. The radish microgreens protect the body against oxidative damage and promote tissue growth and repair.
The Uses Of Daikon Radish Microgreen
Other than the ample health benefits, the microgreens are known for their creative uses in the culinary. These plants are largely used in many Asian dishes. Thanks to them having a beneficial effect on skin and less calorie intake, these microgreens are widely used in everyday food.
- The leafy greens and are used as grated toppings in salads for their crunchy flavor and beautiful textures.
- You can use the microgreens stem or the stock to stir-fries.
- They are added in stews and soups for their spice.
- Koren’s famous dish kimchi can be made using these supplies. You can try to make the radish kimchi by adding daikon radish. The dish’s information can be easily available on the internet; look up the videos on them.
- The microgreens can be roasted and taken in as it is in raw forms. Slice the radish microgreens with other vegetables and its a highly nutritious to have them as it is.
- You can use radish microgreens to make daikon noodles or Chinese daikon cakes.
- It can be made as curries and served with coconut as in many Indian cuisines.
- You can add them to spring rolls and sushi dishes
- The whole radish microgreens, including the stem, stick, leaf, and more, are all edible and added in sautees and snacks.
- Can also be cooked with seaweed and taken in for many healthy purposes
- The radishes can also be added in garnishing in pasta and pizzas.
- the radishes seed pods can also taste super crunchy and add flavor and texture to the dishes
These are also used in the cultivation of soil as the roots come up cracking the surface. Therefore, the microgreens can be used to regulate the soil as a fodder crop. The microgreens are also used to be fed to the cattle.
The following steps will help you cultivate some super-healthy daikon radishes.
Step 1: Deciding The Time
Daikon radishes thrive the most in cool weather. So it is best to plant the seeds in late summer or fall. For this reason, planting months vary from place to place. A trick to determining the best planting time is to measure the soil’s temperature. In optimal conditions, it should be between 60 to 85 °F (16 to 29 °C).
Step 2: Choosing The Soil
Opt for an area with loosely packed soil. Your best options are a garden bed or a pot with this type of soil. For optimal growing, you require at least 12 inches (30 cm) of loosely packed soil. If your soil is too tight, use a garden fork to loosen it. Also, when using a pot, do not pack to soil down. Instead, pour it straight in without pressing.
Create rows that are at least 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) apart. This step is crucial because daikon radishes need quite a bit of room to grow.
Step 3: Planting The Seeds
You should plant the seedlings 2 to 3 inches (5.1 to 7.6 cm) apart. Also, ensure that they are at least 0.5 in (1.3 cm) deep. You need not plant these seeds very deep for germination. Even a small hole or a couple of them in your row or pot will be enough for the radishes to sprout. Here’s a tip: Soak the seeds in tepid water for at least eight hours. Doing so will help speed up the process of germination.
Step 4: Caring For The Seedlings
After the seedling sprout, ensure that you thin them out. This means there should be only 1 seedling for 5 to 6 inches (13 to 15 cm) of soil. Doing so can prevent overcrowding. Any stems that extend beyond ground level should be neatly cut with scissors. These cut leaves are, in fact, edible. They are the daikon radish microgreens. Typically, they taste pleasant and peppery.
Step 5: Watering The Daikon
The daikon needs watering at least 2-3 times each week. Regular watering ensures that the seeds grow to their fullest potential. You should make a habit of checking the soil every couple of days to ensure there’s adequate moisture.
However, if you’re growing radish microgreens, you can opt for misting the soil. Do this with a spray bottle instead of actually watering the pot. When you do this, you ensure that the seeds stay in place.
Step 6: Protecting The Seedlings
Seedlings are prone to dying when it becomes too cold. To prevent this, add a 1 to 2 in (2.5 to 5.1 cm) deep layer of hay mulch to the pot or row. This practice helps insulate the seedlings, shielding them from low temperatures. In case of freezing temperatures, it is best to grow the plant indoors.
Harvesting The Daikon Microgreens
After the microgreen growers mature from the seed pods develop into large, approximately 3-inch flower stalks. Harvesting the microgreens can be problematic as proper care and attention need to be provided for the seeds to harvest properly.
Although the radish seeds can be grown easily, the microgreen seeds needed proper harvesting to be done for the plant to flourish with proper flavor and texture. Since the radish seeds take lesser time to grow, the radish microgreens grow in a rapid state. It thus needs to be harvested at the right time to get the best products.
The radish microgreens grow on sandy and loamy soil and are susceptible to many pests and diseases. The disturbances to note a few are weeds, cabbage root maggots, and clubroots. It is important to safeguard them from diseases and safeguard them by harvesting them as early as possible.
1. When To Harvest?
It is wiser to harvest the microgreens as soon as possible as the radish will stay only for approx sixty days maximum. The radish sprouts are ready to be harvested in a week. The radish should be harvested before it matures or starts freezing. If it left for a long time, even after it matures, the quality of the greens would be lost.
The microgreens are grown in well-drained soil are typically ready to be harvested when grown from the soil surface in a minimum of at least 1-inch diameter. Harvesting at two and a half to three inches is typical. The leaves should be at least 8 inches to pull them out easily. Harvesting the radish microgreens during their cotyledon stage is the most recommended time to harvest.
It is better to test with one plant first instead of hurriedly pulling all. We can check if the radish microgreen sprouts are ready to be harvested. The daikon variety, as a winter crop, can deteriorate in quality slower than the spring varieties. The microgreens here have the capacity to grow larger. Hence, it needs to be pulled out before the soil from the ground freezes in winter.
2. How To Harvest The Microgreens?
The harvesting is quite easy, and it is done by simply pulling from the radish leaves. Since the radishes need to be harvested, whether you need them or not right away, these can be stored in refrigerators. Let’s look at how to harvest the daikon radishes in general and then the daikon radish microgreens.
For Harvesting The Radish
These are the steps to be followed to harvest the radishes.
- When the light leaves are pulled from the top, the roots at the bottom get undone from the soil.
- Pull it from the place under the leaves are connected to the radish.
- Cut the leafy bunch at the top and the roots and dry them to store.
For Harvesting The Radish Microgreens
The steps to follow to harvest the microgreens are
- Tilt the tray at a 45-degree angle and over a large plate or a board in a way so that the soil won’t spill. Use your hands to cover the tray, so the soil doesn’t spill.
- Cut the microgreens right above the soil with a pair of scissors or a knife.
- If the soil spills, make sure it would only spill over the plate. Wash your to avoid any contamination.
- Wash the microgreens before usage to be careful so you will not be affected by any bacteria or fungus when you take the greens.
- Be wary of handling the microgreens as they are flimsy. Put the microgreens in a zip lock cover to store them.
3. Storing The Microgreens
The daikon radish microgreens are generally stored in refrigerating crispers in an airtight manner. After perfectly harvesting the microgreens, store them either on ziplock covers or any container. The microgreens can generally be stored for 10-12 days.
The temperature for the storing is as important as the typical temperature for harvesting. The harvested greens should be harvested in the best climate possible. A too hot climatic condition leads microgreens can be stored to soil boiling when the land freezes, it would lead to deterioration. With a shorter shelf life, the microgreens can be stored in a variety of ways.
- Rinse the microgreens after harvest and you can either eat them fresh or put them in a container and keep them in the freezer.
- If the harvested seeds are not put in a cool place, the greens might get deteriorated and lose their standard.
- Squeeze the air out from the zip locks if there is any. This is done for the microgreens to be kept dry on the refrigerating crisper.
- If you store them in Tupperware containers, they will last for an even longer time.
- You can also store the greens in plastic bags or towels, but they won’t last for a long time.
- Separating roots and leaves will increase the length of the storage and help keep them longer.
- Adding them in pickles and keeping them in a jar would make the medium last longer for about one month.
- The radish greens and seeds can also be edible, which can be stored separately for up to 3 days.
- The radish microgreens are enjoyed throughout all seasons.
The daikon radish is slowly but surely become a mealtime favorite among many. For one, the biggest benefit to daikon radish is that it is a low-calorie cruciferous vegetable. As a result, the vegetable famously improves health in several ways.
For instance, it helps with body weight maintenance. Besides, it can reduce the risk of chronic conditions, like heart disease and some cancers.
However, not only is this vegetable healthy, but it is also quite versatile. For your next meal, indulge in some delicious salads, stir-fries, and curries featuring daikon radish. Or, if you get too hungry, simply munch on some raw as a snack!
James Fields is the founder of Gardener to Farmer. His passion for gardening goes back to his childhood days when he would visit his grandfather during the holidays and help him with the plants in the backyard. This has now translated to creating a dependable resource for gardening.